Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak
The Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak is an award given by the Government of India to civilians for saving lives from fire, drowning, mining accidents and in other critical situations.
The award was first instituted on 30 September 1961. It was then called the Jeevan Raksha Padak, Class I. Then, in 1967, the Government of India took a decision to remove all references to Class from all awards. Since 26 January, 1967, the Jeevan Raksha Padak, Class I was reconstituted and renamed as Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak.
This award may be awarded to civilians as well as to the members of the armed forces, police or fire services for performing acts of bravery beyond the call of duty and saving lives in the process. The award may be given posthumously.
It consists of a circular gold medal that is 2.3 inches in diameter. The words “Sarvottam Jeevan Rakash Padak” are embossed on the medal in the Devanagri script. The reverse of the medal has the Emblem of India with the distinctive motto, “Satyameva Jayate”.
The ribbon of the medal is red with light blue strips at the edges and a green strip in the center. The colors are meant to signify life (green), fire (red) and water (blue).
The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh. The recipients are given the award by the President of India during a glittering ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, around the time of the Republic Day on January 26, every year.
Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak
Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak is given to civilians who save other people from critical life and death situations such as drowning, fire, mining accidents, etc. According to a statement by the Government of India, the award is given for “courage and promptitude under circumstances of very great danger to the life of the rescue”.
The award was introduced on 30 September 1961. During the initial days of the award, it was referred to as the Jeevan Raksha Padak, Class II. It was a part of the Jeevan Rakshak Padak series.
In 1967, a decision was taken by the Indian government to do away with the separation of awards on the basis of class. Hence the Jeevan Raksha Padak, Class II was renamed as Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak on January 27, 1967.
It was higher in the order of precedence than the Jeevan Raksha Padak, but lower than the Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak. The award is generally given to civilians who perform exceptional acts of bravery and save lives. It may also be awarded to members of the Armed Forces, Police and Firefighters for going beyond the call of duty and their courage under a highly critical situation when lives are at stake.
This award can be given posthumously and carries a cash prize as well as other benefits offered by the Government of India such as free travel by train and air and free use of one landline telephone number.
The medal consists of a circular gold medal that is 2.3 inches in diameter. The words “Uttam Jeevan Rakash Padak” are embossed on it in the Devanagri script. In the reverse the medal has the State Emblem of India with the inscription, “Satyameva Jayate”.
The medal is presented by the President of India at a grand ceremony in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.